CIA tip led to Mandela’s arrest: Ex-CIA spy

16 May 2016 | By Ramya

Donald Rickard, a former US vice-consul and CIA spy, revealed to John Irvin–a British filmmaker that a CIA spy's tip to the authorities had led to Nelson Mandela's arrest in apartheid-era South Africa.

He also told that Mandela's arrest was necessary as the US believed that he was under Soviet Union's control.

Rickard also stated that he was involved in Mandela's arrest in 1962.

In context: US' support for apartheid state

Introduction Who was Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, born on 18 July 1918, was a politician, philanthropist, and an anti-apartheid revolutionary in South Africa.

For resisting and protesting against the white-rule, Mandela was arrested in 1962 and served 28 years behind the bars before his release in 1990.

Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994; he died at the age of 95 years in 2013.

1918-2013 Mandela's resistance to racial discrimination

Nelson Mandela was widely-known for the 'Anti-apartheid Movement' to resist racial discrimination in South Africa, which was enforced by 'National Party' that ruled the country from 1948-94.

He was honored with several prestigious awards like Sakharov Prize (1988), Bharat Ratna (1990), Nobel Peace Prize (1993), Order of Lenin, and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

His autobiography–'A Long Walk to Freedom' was released in 1994.

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16 May 2016CIA tip led to Mandela’s arrest: Ex-CIA spy

Mandela was arrested on his way to Natal

Rickard said that he received information about Mandela travelling between Johannesburg and Durban to reach Natal. He added, “I found out when and how he was coming, that's where I was involved, and that's where Mandela was caught."
Mandela had to be stopped: Rickard

16 May 2016Mandela had to be stopped: Rickard

Irvin was making a film called Mandela's Gun, which was based on the life of Mandela and the reason that led to his arrest.

Donald Rickard said that Mandela could have roused a war in South Africa to make things worse, which could have led to US' involvement grudgingly.

Rickard added that Mandela had to be stopped, and he put an end to it.

Rickard worked for CIA until 1978

Donald Rickard had worked as a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency until 1978. John Irvin interviewed Rickard for his film in March 2016. Two weeks after talking to Irvin, Rickard died on 30 March 2016.
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16 May 2016Betrayal of our nation, comments Mandela’s grandson

After Sunday Times reported the ex-CIA spy's confession, Mandla Mandela-Nelson Mandela's grandson, and heir condemned it as a 'betrayal' of their nation.

He asked the US President Barack Obama to apologize and disclose the details of the events that lead to Mandela's arrest in 1962.

He indicated that the US, which viewed Mandela as a 'toy' of communists, should face censure by the UN.

USA put imperial interests above struggle for liberation

Mandla said that they were aware of the West’s support for the Apartheid, but this “disclosure has put an end to decades of denial revealing the fact that the USA put its imperial interests above the struggle for liberation of millions of people.”

16 May 2016The revelation is a serious indictment: Zizi Kodwa

The spokesman of Mandela's ruling African National Congress party, Zizi Kodwa, called the revelation a serious indictment.

He stated that they always knew that the Western countries had some collaboration with the apartheid state.

He also added that though the incident took place several decades ago, the CIA still interferes in the South African politics as they never stopped operating in their country.